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History Of Air Duct Cleaning

History of duct cleaning

Is Air Duct Cleaning Right for You?

To best answer the question “Is air duct cleaning really necessary?”, you might want to ask yourself “is carpet cleaning really necessary?” or “is cleaning my refrigerator coils really necessary?”. It all depends on whose air ducts we are talking about.

Legionaires’ Disease

In deciding if air duct cleaning is right for you, it might be helpful to understand how air duct cleaning was started in the first place. According to Tim Hebert, president of an air duct cleaning association based in Washington D.C., his theory is that it all started in July 1976, in a hotel in downtown Philadelphia. The American Legion was holding a statewide convention in the city, when suddenly the legionnaires mysteriously began falling ill with pneumonia. More than 200 people got sick and 34 died.

The source of the pneumonia was a strain of bacteria that was unrecognized at the time, and which was later dubbed legionella pneumophilia. It had spread through the hotel’s heating and cooling system, flowing into every room in the hotel through the air conditioning.

According to Wikipedia; “L. pneumophila was first recognized after a 1976 outbreak among a group of elderly men attending an American Legion convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (hence the name Legionaires’ disease). This outbreak affected over 200 individuals, with 34 fatalities.”
Indoor Air Pollution or “Sick Building Syndrome”

Hebert credits the outbreak with spurring public interest in indoor air pollution, an entirely new concept to a generation of Americans who had grown accustomed to the joys of air-conditioned buildings in the summer and cozy, air-tight interiors in the winter. What had seemed like sensible energy-efficiency in the 1970s suddenly had a bad side. People started talking about “sick buildings”.

Since the 1970’s a lot of different theories have emerged, ranging from; clean your air ducts annually at an affordable price of around $100, to clean it once every 7 years for an exhorborant amount oftentimes exceeding $1,000


Deciding on Air Duct Cleaning
If you are healthy, have no pets, and your home is nearly dust free, perhaps an annual cleaning might be overkill, on the other hand, if you suffer from allergies or other respiratory or health conditions, is once every 7 years enough? You might want to consult with an allergist, but you will ultimately need to determine what amount of dust dirt and debris you are comfortable with.

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